Influencer Marketing 101

The basics you need to know before trying your hand at influencer marketing.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy in which brands pay influencers to promote their products on social media. The two parties enter into a mutually beneficial relationship; the brand gets content and connection to the influencer’s followers, and the influencer gets paid, whether monetarily or non-monetarily.

What are influencers?

Influencers are social media content creators that hold influence over other people as a celebrity, tastemaker or expert in a certain field. Influencers can affect purchasing habits of consumers or public opinion about a brand or product. Influencers marketing for brands on social media are the modern day equivalents of the celebrity endorsements we used to see in more traditional media.

How many followers do you need to be an influencer?

Influencers can have as few as 1,000 followers and as many as their social network will allow them. When someone gets around 1,000 followers, they’re considered a nano influencer. At this point, brands may start sending them free products in exchange for their social media posts about those products.

As an influencer goes on to gain more followers, they move up influencer tiers, which affects both how many people their profiles reach as well as how much they charge for their services. The influencer tiers are roughly as follows:

  1. Nano influencers - 1-5K followers
  2. Micro influencers - 5-50K followers
  3. Medium influencers - 50-100K followers
  4. Macro influencers - 100K-1M followers
  5. Mega influencers - 1M+ followers

Of these tiers, micro influencers have had a particularly big role in influencer marketing the last few years.

What is a micro influencer?

A micro influencer is a social media influencer with between 5,000 and 50,000 followers. Micro influencers are not celebrities, but rather average people devoted to a certain niche. While micro influencers have lower reach than other influencers, they have higher average engagement rates.

You may have heard about micro influencers in marketing blogs, and with good reason. They’re an attractive choice for big and small brands due to their high engagement rates. Engagement rate is a key metric in influencer marketing. Not sure what it is? There’s a FAQ for that...

How to calculate engagement rate

To calculate engagement, add up the total number of interactions with your content, then divide that number by your total number of followers and multiply by 100. Interactions vary depending on the social network, but some examples are: likes, comments or reposts.

Engagement rate shows the strength of the connection between an influencer and their audience. If the audience believes in an influencer, they’re more likely to engage with that influencer’s content. By extension, they’re also more likely to view your brand in a positive light when promoted by an influencer they like and trust.

What should I analyze when looking at influencers?

In addition to analyzing the number of followers and engagement rate, there are other key performance-driven metrics you should evaluate when searching for influencers for your campaigns. Look into:

This last metric brings us to our next FAQ.

  • Follower growth over time - How did the influencer get their followers?
  • Post frequency - How often does the influencer publish content?
  • Audience demographics - How does the influencer’s audience break down in terms of age, gender, location, etc.?
  • Audience authenticity - Does it seem like the influencer has a large percentage of fake followers?
  • Price - How much does this influencer charge for their services?

How much do influencers charge?

Influencers can charge anywhere from $2 up to $1M per post, according to recent research. This is a large range, and the exact amount a specific influencer charges is determined by the social network, their number of followers, engagement rate, and the type of content you want them to produce.

When thinking about price, keep in mind that some influencers, particularly nano and micro influencers, may agree to collaborations with your brand in exchange for free product alone. The product still has a value, and you are still investing in the influencer. However, you can measure the cost to your brand as the cost of production, or in other words, the cost of the materials and labor needed to manufacture the product.

How do I find influencers to collaborate with?

Glad you asked, because we have the answers! See How to Find Influencers for the places you can look and tools you can use to find influencers. And check out How to Find Influencers For Your Brand to learn all about how to tailor your influencer search to your brand’s specific needs.

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